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Leonard Burnett, Jr.

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Information about Leonard Burnett, Jr.

Profile image of Leonard Burnett, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Magazine Publishing Entrepreneur
Magazine Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha’s Vineyard and St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
If You Have To Say Who You Are, You Ain’t.

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1964
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Magazine Publishing Entrepreneur
Magazine Publishing Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha’s Vineyard and St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
If You Have To Say Who You Are, You Ain’t.

Birthplace

Born:
4/18/1964
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how Leonard Burnett, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and executive Leonard Burnett was born on April 18, 1964 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His family was involved in franchising, which sparked his interest in entrepreneurship. After attending the University of Michigan for two years, Burnett went on to Florida A&M University, where he received his B.B.A. degree in business, management and marketing in 1986.

Burnett went into business with his classmate, Keith Clinkscales, to launch his first magazine, Urban Profile, in 1987, to fill a void in the media market. In 1992, Burnett and Clinkscales sold Urban Profile to Career Communications and got involved in the creation of Vibe magazine. From 1993 to 1999, Burnett served as a publisher and advertising director for the magazine. In 1999, he co-founded Vanguarde Media Group with Clinkscales. Burnett served as vice president and group publisher with Vanguarde and helped launch three successful urban magazines: Savoy, Honey, and Heart & Soul. In 2004, Burnett co-founded Uptown Media Group, or Uptown Ventures, publisher of Uptown magazine, where he served as the chief executive. The following year he helped Vibe magazine launch Vibe: Vixen. After Vibe reopened under new ownership in 2009, he served as the group publisher for the magazine until 2012.

In 2010, Burnett co-authored Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans. In 2013, he founded U Brands after re-purchasing Uptown magazine from InterMedia Partners and acquired Worldwide Electronic Publishing, the publisher of Hype Hair magazine. Burnett has successfully expanded the Uptown brand and reached underserved communities. He also has spoken at the ADCOLOR Awards and is considered an expert of African American buying power, brand-building, and marketing to both urban and affluent African American communities.

Burnett lives in New York City and has two children, Lenny Burnett III and Rani Burnett.

Leonard Burnett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2014.

See how Leonard Burnett, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Burnett, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his father's family background and early football career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's entrepreneurial career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his early interest in sports
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early career aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his family's frequent moves
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers transferring to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his first impressions of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his growth at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the community at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls pledging the the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett reflects upon his formative development in college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early work experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early sales experiences at the Baxter Healthcare Corporation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers cofounding Urban Profile magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls operating Urban Profile magazine full time
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls joining the Career Communications Group, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the launch of Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls selling advertisements for Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the early staff of Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the emergence of hip hop culture
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the initial challenges at Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls the ownership transition period at Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett recalls leaving Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his attempts to buy XXL and Honey magazines
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his acquisition of Honey magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring magazines from BET
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the downfall of Vanguarde Media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the aftermath of Vanguarde Media's bankruptcy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his inspiration to return to work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his return to Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the changes in the magazine industry in the early 2000s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the business plan for Uptown magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about Keith Clinkscales' career after the end of Vanguarde Media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the acquisition of Vibe magazine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls divesting from Vibe to focus on Uptown magazine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the U Brands company
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about U Brands' projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his legacy and career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's opinion of his career path
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. shares his advice to future generations